The Bombay High Court on Monday approved the Maharashtra Maritime Board’s (MMB) request to construct three ferry jetties in the western suburbs of Mumbai and the neighbouring Thane district.
A division bench of Justices B R Gavai and N J Jamadar was hearing a petition filed by the board seeking permission to carry out work on three of its projects pertaining to proposed ferry jetty services between Borivali and Gorai in Mumbai, a passenger jetty at Ghodbunder in Thane and roll-on and roll-off jetty services at Manori in the metropolis.
The bench, while granting permission, observed that the projects were in public interest as they proposed to decongest the city’s traffic in the western suburbs and also connect the eastern and western suburbs.
The MMB is entrusted with the task of planned development of minor ports, port infrastructure, and maritime facilities.
The petition said the projects were being developed for a sustainable water transportation system for Mumbai city and its suburbs.
The board approached the high court seeking permission as the proposed jetties would be located on mangrove buffer zones and as per previous court orders, any authority proposing to destroy mangroves as part of a public project has to seek HC’s nod first.
MMB’s lawyer Saket Mone told the court that it had already got Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearance from the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) for the three projects.
Mone said none of the projects would cause any destruction to mangroves, but since the proposed jetties were in the mangroves buffer zone, permission was sought from the court.
“The proposed projects are founded on the principles of public utility, sustainable development, and eco-friendly transportation systems, aimed at benefiting the citizens and not premised on private or commercial gain,” the petition said.
They are public utility projects and should be allowed to be implemented, more so since the statutory authorities concerned have granted requisite permissions in accordance with law and there is no contemplation of any destruction of mangroves, it added.